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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  December 28, 2014 4:30am-5:01am PST

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bottom of the hour now. welcome back. >> half past the hour now. thanks for staying with us. >> our top story, it is on going. this night time search at sea
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now under way. this is in southeast asia. this is for a passenger jet that has been missing now for more than 12 hours. officials say that large ships with powerful lights continue to comb the sea. less intensive search efforts have been suspended now for the night because it is night fall. it is 7:32 night time there that local time 12 hours ahead of where we are 7:37 eastern. >> so if you're just joining us you're just waking up here in the u.s. or turning on your television anywhere around the world, here's what we know. it's airasia flight 8501. 162 people onboard when it left indonesia headed for singapore. this is around 5:30 eastern yesterday evening, 5:30 local a.m. there in the local area. now it's air bus 83-2200 due to land at 8:30 last night. they lost contact with this
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jetliner about an hour earlier. >> and there have been heavy storms that were reported in the area. several of them at least three coming together. monsoon conditions. we have been reporting about 45 minutes into the flight this is according to indonesian officials. they say the pilot requested permission to change altitude because of this traech us are weather conditions that he was facing. our cnn's erin mcpike is joining us from washington. what do we know snt president has been notified of the missing plane some time ago. and ntsb will have a role as well. what is the united states role in this international effort to find this plane? >> suzanne, president obama and first lady were out to dinner with friends when the news broke. but during that time white house spokesman eric shultz confirmed the president was briefed on this airasia flight. he said white house officials will continue to monitor the situation but we should point out that there is a slight less
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urgency in this particular situation because there weren't any americans on the flight. it is a smaller asia based airline. american companies have to deal with the faa to determine some of the technical issues. but we should point out that the u.s. will most likely provide financial aid and will aid in the search efforts as the u.s. did in search for mh-370. the white house joined call to track each and every flight throughout the flight path which didn't happen of course in, this case. the international organization is calling for. that we were talking about ikao during the search for mh live 370 and in this case the white house is also saying that all threes flights need to be tracked from beginning to end.
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erin we know that for the families who are waiting, although as it was characterized there is less urgency for the families waiting for the 162 people that this is an absolute urgent occasion to try to get some answers. but i understand the point that you made. we just got an element in about the search operation. we know the flights have been halted for the night. we've been told that big ships that have powerful enough lights to continue looking after dark those will continue to search. we know that malaysia has deployed three vessels. however, we don't know if those have made it to this search area yet. so quite possibly there are other resources, other assets from maybe indonesia which is leading this search. or other countries getting involved that made it to the area. that information we're getting from the transportation ministry. hopefully more details about that. but is there, even in the discussion of urgency, erin, is
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there any time line on when we'll see the ntsb head in that direction, head to surabaya to speak with the indonesians and offer that even technical expertise? >> i think what we'll probably see from the white house throughout the next day or two are lists. they always put out these advisories and lists of exactly what the u.s. will be doing to contribute to the search and the financial aid that they will provide. i expect we'll see that throughout the day to day. but certainly some time on monday we'll see. that again, the white house has said that they'll continue to monitor the situation but, yes, the ntsb is likely to get involved and we'll probably see a list of xauktly how they will contribute to that search in the next day or two. >> erin mcpike, thank you. joining us by phone, dr. allen dale former ntsb air safety investigator investigator. you have been following this story as we have throughout the
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morning getting more details. base ond the information that you have where do you believe this plane, this missing plane could be? how soon do you think rescuers can get to it? >> obviously, suzanne, that's a difficult question. one thing i will say about this particular type of aircraft the air bus, it does have what is called a ditching switch. this is a mechanical device that can be activated by the pilots and it seals the bottom of the aircraft if they were able to get it on to the water it should float for a considerable period of time. so that's one advantage of the air bus over other types of airliners. but we of course, don't know that it made it to the surface of the water or for that matter to land. we certainly remember the airal
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jeer accident which was a mcdonald douglas aircraft similar in size. it disappeared over north africa. again, like this situation, the pilot asked to deviate around severe weather. in that case the airal jeer case the aircraft broke up in flight and nobody survived. we don't know whether or not this aircraft was destroyed in flight or made it to the surface. and, you know we can only hope that we should be able to find it within a matter of certainly hours -- well probably a day or so. clearly surface vessels would be great. they also have radar. if the aircraft did make it to the surface intact and floating it should be detectible on maritime radar. but we're talking about probably a matter of days if it broke up.
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they'll be looking for debris obviously. >> and what kind of information can you get now? this is 738 local time. obviously the sun has gone down. it is dark. they will be using ships with the powerful lights. what kind of information can you learn? >> we'll send out a notice to mariners to everybody that is sailing. it may will be that not necessarily a search vessel but some other vessel will come upon part of the wreckage or hopefully survivors and, of course radio they're position. i think that's probably more likely than necessarily the three vessels that are part of this search that we may just -- another ship or another fishing boat may spot something.
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>> do we know if the united states the ntsb what is the role in terms of taking the lead on this investigation? >> well they won't be lead unless indough nearby yashgs my understanding is that indonesia is going to be the lead on this and the way it works under the international civil aviation rules is once a country is it established as having the lead they then grant what is called party status to other investigating organizations such as the ntsb. we know the french have a similar organization. the aircraft is made in france and europe. they'll certainly be a party i would imagine. i don't know what type of engines. but the manufacturers and the manufacturer and the engine manufacturers will be part of this investigation and a lot of the electronics are probably made in the united states. that's why the ntsb would be involved. as you know, there are 3600
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aircraft worldwide in operation. and many usair lines fly this air bus 320 equipment. so therefore, we have a -- as americans and as the ntsb we have an interest in making sure there is nothing wrong with the aircraft. at this point, everybody is saying it's probably a weather problem. but everything is still open. we don't know whether it's weather, mechanical human factor or even conceivably some kind of terrorist act although of course that's very rare event. so everything is still on the table. but the ntsb will probably be in an advisory capacity to the indonesian lead authorities. >> all right. dr. alan deal thank you so much. we appreciate it. as he mentioned in highlight, we should tell that you all options are on the table that we really don't know how this plane went
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down. >> okay mike. >> this is airasia flight 8501. it is headed to singapore. it is now 7:41 local time at night. they're 12 hours ahead wrf we are eastern time. it has gotten dark. the immediate search and rescue efforts have been suspended. they're still looking desperately for that plane and 162 soles onboard. we're going to take a quick break and have more information. alright, so this tylenol arthritis lasts 8 hours but aleve can last 12 hours. and aleve is proven to work better on pain than tylenol arthritis. so why am i still thinking about this? how are ya? good. aleve. proven better on pain.
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welcome back. our breaking news coverage continues now. coming up to 7:45 on the east coast. we've got cnn meteorologist karen mcguinness in the cnn weather center. the concern obviously, the weather systems, plural that were involved in that area over the java sea. but the weather still a concern now that there will be aircraft searching for this plane. what is the situation there? >> i'll give you the overall picture of what the flight path
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of this aircraft was expected to take. it is typical they would encounter monsoon weather. they are supposed to have monsoon training. they would have had monsoon training. whether it be across this region here is the java sea, here is surabaya and this is singapore. fut if you were flying into or out of say, delhi and i know this because i am married to an airline pilot, they get monsoon training there. monsoon means there is a seasonal change in precipitation. they have seen a torrential amount of rainfall over the last just about two weeks. this is what we were looking at in this green shaded area. look at this thunderstorm cluster here. this is something that aircraft would avoid. this is why this particular aircraft from what we have heard asked for a diversion, meaning
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they want to go from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet. expecting there to be less turbulence. you have that upward draft and very sip call for thistypical for this time of year. it falls behind this weather system. so you have this constant motion that is taking place within the vicinity not just in the thunderstorm but within the vicinity of the thunderstorm. on top of that it depends on what the pilot's reaction to this is as well. you have a very skilled pilot, he knows how to make the adjustments for that. and in a simulator, they're expected to train for that. they are also expected not as a pilot in command, but maybe the second in command but the first officer would be trained a certain number of hours to do these type of diversions around
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thunderstorms. this was the expected track. it was going to go over open water. it was pretty much at altitude 32,000 feet. the diversion would have taken five to ten minutes or so. back to you. >> talk a little bit about the weather and how you think it might impact search and rescue. immediately they suspended i will in the 6:00 a.m. the next morning so they can see what is there. there are large ships that are stationary on the java sea that have big lights. they can turnt lights and try to get a sense of what they see. what is happening in the sky where they might be able to see something? >> whether we were looking for the first malaysia flight and just how difficult it is to look for an item or debris over a wide expanse of ocean, well this isn't that kind of coverage area. you still have to remember this is a broad area.
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weather is a factor. because we looked at this precipitation that is typical this time of year even the aircraft in the sky, they have to watch out for this kind weather as well. turbulence doesn't bring an aircraft down. it may be a pilot reaction to the turbulence. it may be perhaps it got too close to a thunderstorm. there could be so many variables. there is a weight and balancish would you aircraft as well. if they're on the ocean waters it could be rough. but we are typically looking at the seasonal tranigs of the winds coming out of the northeast because this is typically just kind of in that intertropical convergence zone the itcz. you'll see the thunderstorms fire up during the heat of the day. then about it evening it
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flattened out. when we see the weather become more calm then you're not going to see kind of the volume of thunderstorms. but this is been exceptional over the last several weeks. they have seen such severe flooding. we've seen numerous pictures. if you've seen cnn international over the past week or so they have shown you just area after area where flooding has been a terrific problem here. but it's not really flooding that impacts the aircraft. it is the weather and the vicinity of the aircraft. >> all right. thank you so much. we appreciate it. we're keeping a close >> we'll be keeping a close eye on the weather, obviously, because what if anything they might be able to spot on the java sea is so critical at this time. search-and-rescue has been temporarily suspended until 6:00 in the morning local time there. there's 162 families who have a wait hours and hours to wait to
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find out before potentially find out what has happened to that missing aircraft. we'll have a lot more questions and experts to talk to on the other end of the break including our aviation expert who has been learning a lot talking to the ntsb this morning. my doctor told me about stelara®. it helps keep my skin clearer. with only 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses... ... stelara® helps me be in season. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and increase your risk of infections. some serious infections require hospitalization. before starting stelara®... ...your doctor should test for tuberculosis. stelara® may increase your risk of cancer. always tell your doctor if you have any sign of infection, have had cancer, or if you develop any new skin growths. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems- these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. serious allergic reactions can occur. tell your doctor if you or anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine.
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it's a little bit over six years old. which when you talk about an aircraft that's relatively young. airbus also says that this particular aircraft had 23,000 flight hours, and we do know from flight tracking website flight radar 24 on that same day of this incident it made five other trips according to that flight tracking website. five other short haul trips within this region without any incident. we also know that this a 320 according to airbus is the work horse. they give some interesting stats here. says one lands and takes off every two seconds every day some place in the world. so that just gives you perspective on just how many reps this particular design of aircraft has under its belt. its last maintenance was just last month. there were no indications of any problems. of course we know airbus when
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it gets to the stage of an investigation, they likely would assist in the investigation because they know this aircraft very well they would be able to assist investigators in helping them to understand how certain parts of this plane work and answer any questions that investigators may have. but at this point airbus being very careful with their wording saying that they are simply trying to gather information. they don't want to speculate on what happened or what went wrong on board this flight. they will only say they are still gathering information. as for the ntsb i will say identify reached out to them. i reached out to them yesterday. we've not heard anything back from them official on the record but you would have to bet that they are monitoring the situation. but they wouldn't really get fully involved until at least there is some wreckage found. then that would give them some work to do course. we talk about the black boxes but the wreckage itself would
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tell the investigators a lot of information in piecing together this puzzle of exactly what happened to this flight. >> rene we know airbus is a french company, different than the last situation where we saw the missing plane, a boeing an american company. so i imagine that the role of the ntsb would be different not necessarily taking the lead but the indonesians working with the ntsb to try to figure out what happened. >> right. that's correct. also the french's version of the ntsb as well most likely would be active in this investigation as well. but, you know like we say, the ntsb has looked at and recovered lots of black boxes so oftentimes they are invited in to share their expertise, to help out in situations like this. but you're right, the indonesians, again, as protocol is whoever's waters this went down in whoever the country
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that this aircraft belongs to they would lead the investigation. but, again, we're speculating here that most likely they may refer or consult with ntsb if they feel it's necessary. >> you will remember rene in the search for 370 there were questions about jurisdiction and what information would be released to the malaysians from boeing. now we're dealing, obviously, with another company. do you foresee or are you hearing any indication thus far there might be a problem with airbus or are they offering as much as they can. again we're only hours into this. >> right. airbus in their very own statement is saying they plan on being very cooperative with the investigation. they plan on working with investigators, supplying whatever information is necessary. so in the statement itself they are saying that they are willing to work with there's no indication they plan on holding
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back any information or not being forthcoming in their exact words they say in line with annex 13 which is essentially international law that governs this sort of thing airbus will provide full assistance to the french safety investigation authority which makes sense because airbus is manufactured there by the french and bea, again that is the acronym for the french safety investigators. so again, they are saying here whatever these -- whatever is asked of them they will provide that information and oftentimes when we talk about aviation and aviation safety that is one thing that these manufacturers take very seriously. they want to know if something was wrong with their aircraft because we know that there's more than 6,000 of these a320s in service, in operation. so it's in their best interest to work with investigators to figure out what went wrong
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because there's so many of these aircraft in the air as we speak. >> yes. as you say a320 the work horse, a lot of passengers have questions. stay with us. we'll pause for a moment to restock at the top of the hour and continue the breaking news coverage. good morning, everyone i'm suzanne malveaux in for christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. 8:00 here on the east coast. we continue our breaking news coverage of this search at sea. now suspended, more than 12 hours after a passenger jet with 162 people on board went missing in southeast asia. officials say large ships with powerful lights will continue to comb the waters off indonesia for airasia 8501. >> the

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